How does Invisalign compare against conventional braces for overjet?

Doctor's Answers 2

First of all, overjet is not a disease, everyone has overjet. If you mean excessive overjet, which means like protrusion of the teeth -- if it’s mild, sometimes I’ll just accept it and make the teeth straight. Sometimes some people will have teeth that’s like Bugs’ Bunny teeth, then when you align everything it doesn’t look so out of place and the patient’s happy.

But the more severe cases you may need to have like four extractions done. They always claim that you can do it with Invisalign, but then if the patient needs extractions I’ll just tell them to go with braces. It’s a lot faster and we have a lot more control over the bite and where the teeth go. I have some patients that insist on doing it with Invisalign, but I tell them: Look, in the end, you’d probably need to finish with braces, so it’s your choice. So it’s a very subjective question, that’s why it’s back to treatment planning, discussing with the patient what they mean exactly, how much correction do they want. Then we tell if that’s possible: “yes it’s possible, but you need to do these things” or like “no it’s just not possible”.

Maybe I can share coming from a patient’s perspective. I wore braces for many years, I had teeth that were sticking out, and I had crowded on my lower. When I first went to a dentist, I was like I really want to fix these teeth (that were sticking out) because when I smile -- when I don’t smile, anybody notices it but when I smile everybody sees it. I finally got to get it done and it was done really quickly initially, but I think we probably did not spend enough time talking about my bones and how I wanted it to look like so there’s sort of a mismatch in expectations between me and the original dentist that was treating me. I wasn’t happy with it in the end.

So I continued -- eventually, I moved and I continued with another dentist. Dr Jaclyn was actually the one who finished my treatment for me. So there was a lot of conversation, a lot of my treatment planning and then deciding how I wanted it to look like, and making sure I got to the end result I wanted. And I got it in the end.

So the process might take a little bit of time initially, but understanding what you want and understanding it together with your dentist so your dentist can help you achieve your goals, I think that is very important. Sometimes you just skip that part assuming that it’s going to turn out well in the end but you don’t have enough weightage on that initial treatment planning and consultation part, which I think I’d advocate for. For everyone to make sure that you truly understand what the treatment is going to get you and the process, and you have a proper understanding with the dentist that’s treating you.

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